Right now, thousands of workers live outdoors in tiny wooden sheds in Australia, even though their labour is valued at $6 billion in this country alone. They are vegetarians who neither eat fruit, nor veggies, but help produce the meat we eat.
Curious? The humble honey bee is a workforce to be reckoned with and this Sunday is your chance to find out all about them, as Western Australia plays its part in National Honey Month.
The University of Western Australia's Centre of Integrative Bee Research (CIBER) is one of the main organisers behind the Honey Festival in the Swan Valley: a free, not-for-profit family event now in its fifth year.
CIBER's Outreach Officer Dr Barbara Baer-Imhoof said every third spoon full of food we eat is produced with the help of a honey bee.
"They are the fourth most important farm animal in the world after cattle which are used for milk and pigs and poultry which are used for meat, but bees are in a steep decline world-wide,” Dr Baer-Imhoof said.
“We want to increase public awareness about the situation of the local bee-keeping industry and the environmental threats endangering our honey bees."
CIBER scientists including Director Professor Boris Baer will volunteer their time to show the public ‘Her Majesty’, a queen who is mother to 70,000 bees. Visitors can ask all about the team's research and the CIBER exhibition will be on display.
Back by popular demand is the Aboriginal dance group Wadumbah as well as the Scitech team with its stall full of craft activities.
Chef Dale Sniffen will judge a honey-cake bake off and children will love the bee quiz trail, pollination game and songs by soloist Nick Stockwell. Chat with local bee keepers, watch them loading hives onto trucks, learn how to build a bee box or just relax and browse the various stalls.
The Honey Festival is at 867 Great Northern Highway (House of Honey) in the Swan Valley, on Sunday 1 May from 10am to 4pm. There will be refreshments for sale or bring a picnic. The event is wheelchair accessible.
For more information check the Facebook page, Honeyfestival Inc.
Photo credit: Ruedi Wittwer
David Stacey (UWA Media and Public Relations Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716
Dr Barbara Baer-Imhoof (Outreach Officer, UWA Centre of Integrative Bee Research) (+61 4) 24 638 754